On Monday, Judge Cynthia Stephens denied an injunction request filed by Detroit Public Schools against the Detroit Federation of Teachers.
The injunction would have prevented teachers from participating in organized sick-outs.
Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager Darnell Earley released the following statement on the decision:
The point of DPS seeking legal remedy from the Court of Claims on the ongoing teacher sick outs that are plaguing our District and its students has always been to ensure that teachers are in their classrooms teaching and students are getting the educational experience to which they are entitled.
The court proceeding today, although unfortunate in that it did not result in any immediate relief, was a necessary step the District had to take to emphasize to those who have participated in the sick outs the importance of our students being in class each and every day. The laws are written, and very clearly, so that you would not expect to have to remind educators or their bargaining unit of their legal responsibility in the midst of a school year.
There are many serious challenges facing Detroit Public Schools. It is incumbent upon all of us – the District, the DFT/AFT and the community -- to work together toward their resolution. However, if teachers are not in their classrooms, the District may have no other option but to close schools that are affected. The District looks forward to the evidentiary proceeding that has been scheduled for February 16, 2016.
Last week, DPS filed the injunction request in an attempt to get teachers back into the classrooms following days of sick-outs.
The judge set another hearing regarding the recent actions of ousted DFT president Steve Conn. That hearing is set for February 16.
The Detroit Federation of Teachers is calling on teachers not to close down any schools. It says the sick-out protests in recent weeks have sent a message, but at this time schools need to remain open for kids.
Two Detroit schools were closed today due to a high number of teacher absences. One was closed because teachers went to the scheduled hearing today.
From the Detroit Public Schools Facebook page this morning:
Diann Banks Williamson (due to hearing)
Please note that all staff members are expected to report to work unless they have taken leave.